President Barack Obama gave small-town Iowans quite a show as his motorcade traveled through the area en route to a campaign stop in Waterloo on Tuesday night.
After speaking in Marshalltown in the afternoon, the president hopped aboard his bus, bound for Waterloo, and passed through downtown Traer as well-wishers were lined up and down Main Street to cheer him on. The president gave waves to the crowd as the bus passed through the Main and Second Street intersection.
The Star-Clipper was fortunate enough to procure media credentials for the Waterloo event, and saw the president speak to a crowd of over 1,800 supporters. That estimated total was provided by the Waterloo Fire Department and campaign staff.
President Obama gave a passionate and regionally relevant speech on the economy, wind energy and much more during his stop in Waterloo on Tuesday night. Here, Obama explains his opponent’s view of the economy as the crowd boos.
Following remarks by Congressman Bruce Braley (D-Waterloo), Mike Dufel, a Waterloo fireman and Cedar Falls resident, got the opportunity to introduce Obama for the night's main event.
First and foremost on the agenda for the President was the same issue the campaign has been about - and will continue to be about - the economy. The message was clear: draw distinctions between the two vastly different economic visions being offered in the 2012 election, not the least of which is on the issue of tax breaks for wealthier Americans.
"We tried this before. We tried this trickle-down fairy dust before. Guess what? It didn't work then, and it won't work now," Obama said in reference to the Romney plan, which he believes will give more tax breaks to the wealthy while the middle class and struggling economy as a whole fail to see the benefit.
"I don't believe in trickle-down economics, I believe in middle class-out economics. I believe in bottom-up economics," Obama said. "I believe in making sure everybody's got a fair shot. That's why I'm running for a second term as president of the United States of America."
The president was able to tout his many accomplishments to the crowd of mostly working-class voters in Waterloo, which was one of the first stops he made back in 2008 after announcing his candidacy.
He highlighted the killing of Bin Laden, ending the war in Iraq and the Affordable Care Act as some of the many accomplishments of his first term in office.
Perhaps the most striking takeaway from the day was the president's willingness to embrace the term "Obamacare," which his opponents have used since day one to paint the Affordable Care Act in a negative light.
The president said he now uses the term Obamacare because, quite simply, "I do care. It's a settled issue, the Supreme Court ruled on it, and we're moving forward with it," Obama said as the crowd erupted into perhaps the loudest cheers of the night.
The president laid out his plan for America as one that will create opportunities for all, while the Republican plan would only benefit the rich with the hope that their benefits would reach the rest of the country.
Specifically, Obama took issue with his opponent's plan to allow the wind production tax credit to expire. Romney has stated as recently as July that he would allow the tax credit to expire, something virtually all high-ranking Iowa Republicans disagree with. Governor Terry Branstad, Rep. Tom Latham and Sen. Chuck Grassley have all spoken out in favor of extending the credit.
Following his empassioned speech, the president took time to shake hands with supporters on his way out of the ampitheater. Obama met up with his wife, First Lady Michelle Obama, for more campaign stops in Dubuque and Davenport on Wednesday.